Supplement Spotlight: Maca

Maca root comes from a plant native to Peru. A natural supplement, it has been linked to many health benefits, particularly hormone balancing and increasing libdo. Often sold as a fine, earthy powder, that can be added to juices and smoothies, it can also be taken in capsule form.

What Are The Claims?

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High in Micronutrients

Maca root is low in fat, contains fibre, and is high in vitamin C, copper and iron. It is a natural antioxidant, meaning that it can protect cells from oxiditive damage they are exposed to from free radicals in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, many of the studies on the antioxidant properties have been done on test-tube samples and rats, so more research is needed. However, the potential benefits of improving antioxidant profile are worthwhile, reducing risk of diseases such as: heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

May Contribute to Healthy Sex Hormones

Increases libido in both men and women, as well as potentially improving sperm count and balancing hormones in pre and post menopausal women. One 2002 study concluded that 12 weeks of supplementing 1.5g or 3g Maca led to increases in subjective sexuality in healthy adult men.

Increase energy and endurance

As a very 'clean' source of nourishment and energy, adding maca to your morning smoothie can give a boost without the jitters and stimulatory effects of caffeine, one of the ways it may do this is by supporting adrenal function. Furthermore, a 14 day study on maca supplementation improved both 40 km cycling time trial performance and sexual desire in trained male cyclists.

Improve mood and Cognitive Function

Studies have suggested links between maca and alleviating depression and increasing cognitive function. Many of these studies have been conducted on postmenopausal women, further research should address different populations.

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Warrior Maca

Warrior Maca capsules are a great alternative for those who want the benefits of maca without the taste.
Each capsule contains 500mg maca, 1-3 capsules are recommended per day.

Gonzales, G., Cordova, A., Vega, K., Chung, A., Villena, A., Gonez, C. and Castillo, S. (2002). Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia, 34(6), pp.367-372.
Stone, M., Ibarra, A., Roller, M., Zangara, A. and Stevenson, E. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 126(3), pp.574-576.

About the Author

Savannah Westerby. BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Instagram: @savannahwesterby

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